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Server 2012 R2 - Easily Set up Remote Desktop Profiles

Posted on 2015-02-18
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Hello,

Getting ready to set up a new Windows Server 2012 R2 Remote Desktop Services server here in a little bit. The only way I've ever known how to set up a user's profile is to add the user to the remote desktop users list, log in as the user, and configure everything (IE homepage, Outlook, My Documents location, Misc. Software, etc.).

Is there an easier way to do this? Otherwise I've got about 100 users to set up manually so am hoping to avoid this.
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Question by:street9009
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Spike99 earned 2000 total points
ID: 40617363
Are you in an Active Directory/domain environment?  If you are, I would create a AD group that grants access to log on remotely. For example, if you have an Accounting group that needs access to the Accounting server, you could create a group called something like "Accounting-RDP-Access" and then just add all users to that group.  Then, add that group to the Remote Desktop Users group on the server or servers they need to be able to log on to.  Then, when a new user needs access to that server, just add them to that group.

For the Outlook profile, you could use the Office customization tool or ADM templates for group policy to configure the email profile for users. Here's a technet blog about configuration options for Outlook 2010:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/vedant/archive/2010/09/06/configuring-options-for-outlook-2010.aspx

To set the IE home page, you need to edit group policy settings to prevent users from changing the home page. When you enable that setting, you will see the option to set the home page.  You can either enable this setting in an existing policy or create a new one.
1.  In the Group Policy Mgt. Console, browse to this policy:
User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates >Windows Components > Internet Explorer > "Disable changing home page setting"
2.  Enable that setting
3.  Add the URL for the homepage & then click apply to save the change

This page has screenshots of that, but it's from a 2003 or 2008 server (the policy setting for 2012 is very similar).
http://www.grouppolicy.biz/2010/02/how-to-use-group-policy-to-configure-home-page-settings-part-1/

To redirect the user's My Documents location, see this technet article for the policies you can use to specify the user's folder locations:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc771969.aspx

I hope this helps.

Alicia
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by:street9009
ID: 40630866
Thank you. I won't be in a position to test this for a few days but didn't want to leave open any longer. I will report back with any issues if we have any just for reference.
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